News / Europe

Estonia PM Calls for Permanent NATO Presence as Bulwark to Russia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Estonia's Prime Minister Taavi Roivas attend a news conference after talks at the Chancellery in Berlin, June 20, 2014.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Estonia's Prime Minister Taavi Roivas attend a news conference after talks at the Chancellery in Berlin, June 20, 2014.
Reuters
Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas urged NATO on Friday to establish a permanent presence in the Baltic state in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine, telling his allies to “open your eyes and stay awake”.
 
The Western alliance has tripled the number of fighter jets based in the Baltics as part of measures to beef up its defenses in eastern Europe following Russia's annexation of Crimea.
 
The events in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-speaking insurgents using sophisticated weapons threaten to split the country, have put the whole former Soviet bloc region on alert and eager for NATO reassurance.
 
Asked if he would like to see a permanent mission in Estonia, Roivas told Reuters in an interview: “Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania are the border states, and it is only logical that air policing and air defense for example are present on the borders.”
 
NATO's top military commander, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, said last month that NATO would have to consider permanently stationing troops in eastern Europe.
 
But some NATO allies argue that permanent basing of large numbers of troops in the east is too expensive, not a military necessity and needlessly provocative to Moscow.
 
Asked about the risk of antagonizing Moscow further, Riovas said: “Russia has done everything to break all agreements and has been very aggressive... we have the alarm bell ringing in Ukraine and I really believe that now is the time to open your eyes and stay awake.”
 
NATO has arranged a number of short-term army, air force and naval rotations in Eastern Europe, but these are due to finish at the end of this year.
 
Long-term plans include training drills that will consistently keep about 100 U.S. elite troops on the ground at any one time in NATO states close to Russia, with teams working in several countries, a U.S. official said.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
June 21, 2014 7:53 AM
A MESSAGE for Estonia? -- The US, EU, and NAO military forces, (are the most powerful military forces in the history of the world), but they haven't won a single conflict or war that they started, or participated in, have they? --- Stay neutral like Switzerland?

by: Thomas Borgsmidt from: Denmark
June 20, 2014 11:46 PM
I really don't think Russia and Putin saw that one coming.

Russia has been proceeding the same path as Hitler and Stalin did - using the same old ploys. We have seen their agression in Chechetnia, in Georgia and now in the Ukraine - what strikes me most is that Putin really did not think that Nato (and the EU) were pondering their options and making plans.

Today there is not THE WARPLAN - but a set of plans to cover different contingencies. The provocations of Russia - flying strategic bombers against Sweden and trying to put up Iskander missiles in Königsberg - have not gone by unoticed.

I doesn't seem like Russia understands that plans are under continual revision. Of course the provocations have been taken into consideration when the annual exercise Saber Strike was planned - it would have been stupid not to do that. Ukrainia has entered into that as well. Exercise planning is very flexible, where some participants are simulated or just on paper - but can be put in flesh at the appropriate notice.

The danger in the situation is that Russia is coming apart financially and in those circumstances a primitive despot like Putin is liable to strike out. So better take that eventuality into consideration.

Of course we never trusted a known criminal like Putin!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs